"Evolution by design"
— Team Motto

Team Make Robotics (also shortened to Make Robotics and known as The Behemoth Boys or Team Behemoth on TV) are a long-standing team who have entered every UK series of Robot Wars except Series 1, including both series of Robot Wars Extreme. They have competed with the heavyweight Behemoth (Series 2-10, Extreme 1-2), and antweight Anty B (Extreme 1-2), both distinguished by their large lifting scoops and yellow and black colour schemes. Having competed in nine main series, Team Make Robotics are the longest-competing team in the show's history, and reached the Grand Final to finish in third place in their most recent appearance.

The Team[edit | edit source]

Team Make Robotics logo

Team Behemoth banner in Series 6

"After watching a few shows we decided to send off for the application form and it all went from there."
— The team on joining Robot Wars[1]

Team Make Robotics initially consisted of Anthony and Michael Pritchard, their father Edward and friend Kane Aston, who built their heavyweight Behemoth for their debut in Series 2. Anthony and Michael Pritchard had been radio-controlled hobbyists for many years prior to entering Robot Wars[2].

Team Make Robotics in Series 2

Anthony, Michael and Kane in Series 4

Edward Pritchard did not compete with the team following Series 2, with Kane Aston taking his place for Series 3 and all of Behemoth's subsequent appearances except for the Extreme 2 Iron Maidens tournament. Anthony also fought as a single roboteer in the Extreme 1-2 Antweight Championships with Anty B, essentially an antweight replica of Behemoth. In Series 9, the team roles included Anthony Pritchard as captain and driver, Kane Aston in charge of pneumatics, Michael Pritchard running electronics, and Kevin Cleasby as the team mechanic.

Team Make Robotics also represented the University of Hertfordshire when they entered Behemoth into the Extreme 2 University Challenge.

The team in Series 8

Despite their experience and longevity, the team's successes in Robot Wars had been mixed. In its earlier appearances, Behemoth reached the Semi-Finals of Series 2 and finished runner-up in The First World Championship, but was unable to win its Heat in any of its subsequent main series appearances. Its remaining performances saw it reach the Heat Final in Series 3-4 and 8, and eliminated from the second round in Series 5-7 and 9. Behemoth turned this around in Series 10 by reaching the Grand Final, finishing in the top four. Behemoth also competed in various side competitions held throughout the main series and in Robot Wars Extreme, notably winning the Series 7 House Robot Rebellion along with teammate Gravity.

Anthony Pritchard with Anty B

Meanwhile, Team Make Robotics enjoyed more success with Anty B, which despite losing the Antweight Melee in the first series of Extreme after falling underneath the Floor Flipper, won the Antweight Championship in the second series of Extreme; the team's only Robot Wars accolade to date. Behemoth and Anty B's track records ensure that the team currently holds the records for entering the most competitions and losing the most battles out of any competing team.

Team Make Robotics also built BBC 2 Ident, a 2-shaped lightweight robot commissioned as an official ident for BBC Two, the original and current UK broadcaster of Robot Wars.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Team Behemoth logo in Extreme 2

Team Make Robotics used the name Team Behemoth for Robot Wars, but the Make Robotics name was the overaching name, and is used on the team's website and Facebook page. The name Make Robotics comes from the team members initials; Michael, Anthony, Kane and Edward.

The name Team Make Robotics was used on Battlebot in 2015[3], and in Techno Games 2003, when they entered the football, along with other names when the parts of the team entered separate events (See Outside Robot Wars).

Team Members[edit | edit source]

Anthony Pritchard[edit | edit source]

"For me, to keep coming back to do Robot Wars, is actually built into me now. It's something we've been doing so long, it actually would feel wrong NOT to be doing it!"
— Anthony Pritchard in Series 10

Anthony Pritchard in the team's VT in Series 9

Anthony Pritchard at the controls of Behemoth in Extreme 1

The only ever present member of the team, Anthony Pritchard was the Team Captain and driver throughout the team’s appearances. In Series 8, he described himself as the team’s strategist.

He studied at the University of Hertfordshire, where he earned a degree in model making. He was the one who came up with the JCB design for Behemoth.

He also built the team’s antweight, Anty B, and entered it into the Antweight Championships in Extreme 1 and 2.

Throughout his appearances, he tended to be very confident going into battles, citing the team's experience and the quality of the construction and engineering of the robot. Before the first round battle in the University Challenge, he claimed the opposition were "not up to what we're used to", and in Series 8, he claimed he didn't think Behemoth had any weaknesses,

Anthony Pritchard walks away from his team

The team had a publicised difference of opinion following Behemoth's loss to Cherub in Series 9, as Behemoth entered its Head-to-Head battle against the latter with an untested weapon. The weapon - a pair of grabbing arms - proved ineffective in battle and contributed to its loss via the subsequent Judges' decision. Anthony Pritchard had vehemently opposed the use of the weapon - insisting that the scoop would have guaranteed Behemoth victory - and walked away from the control room after the decision was announced, in a move which attracted unfavourable coverage from the press.[4] Pritchard did not remain present with his Make Robotics teammates for Behemoth's following whiteboard matches against Gabriel and TR2. Although Pritchard was criticised by the press, who assumed that he walked out because of Behemoth losing to Cherub's team of children, he clarified that the age of his opponents was not a consideration, and he felt the blame was purely with his team for using the experimental gripper weapon. He also clarified that after the cameras had stopped rolling, he had apologised to Angela Scanlon and Team Cherub.[5]

The controversy was addressed in Series 10, introducing the entire series, to portray Anthony Pritchard's actions in a more relatable manner, and Anthony Pritchard promised to never repeat his actions.

Michael Pritchard[edit | edit source]

Team Behemoth in Series 3

The brother of Anthony, Michael Pritchard was one of the originators of Behemoth, and was present for every series Behemoth competed in, apart from Series 8.

According to the Robot Wars website, his role was electronics. Throughout his appearances, he was the weapons operator. As Kane Aston joined the team in Series 3, he tended to be more in the background, as Anthony and Kane tended to do the speaking in the team's introductions and interviews, though he did have occasional speaking roles. Notably, in Extreme 1, he claimed Behemoth was "indestructible" before its fight with Hypno-Disc, leading to Behemoth being presented with the Challenge Belt, to test that claim.

Michael Pritchard took the controls of Behemoth in only one battle, the Wild Card Warriors battle in Extreme 1 against The Spider, with Kane Aston taking his role as weapons operator. He performed remarkably well, easily defeating his opponent, and securing Behemoth's first out of the arena flip.

"The Spider is the only fight Ant has not driven Behemoth. To say the OOTA was planned would be the absolute opposite of what happened. Ant was unwell and Mike took the controls and it all worked out!"
— Kane Aston[6]

Edward Pritchard[edit | edit source]

Edward and Liz Pritchard in the audience in Extreme 1

Anthony and Michael’s father, Edward Pritchard only appeared with the team in the team’s first appearance, Series 2. He did not control the robot.

Despite only making one appearance with the team, he continued to come to Robot Wars to support the team (he can be seen in the audience in Extreme 1, holding a Behemoth sign, next to Liz Pritchard) and helped in the construction of the robots. He also joined the team for appearances on Techno Games and BattleBots.

Kane Aston[edit | edit source]

Kane Aston with Behemoth in Series 3

Kane Aston leads the team's introduction in Series 5

A childhood friend of Anthony Pritchard’s [7], Kane made his first appearance with the team in Series 3, but he had previously worked on original Behemoth.

Working as an IT manager, his role was Electronics and CAD according to the Robot Wars website[8], though he is also responsible for welding and pneumatics. By this stage, Kane Aston was also the chairman of the Fighting Robots Association, making him heavily involved with the safety enforcement and logistics of robot combat events nationwide.

Like Anthony, Kane tended to be very confident before battles, such as when he dismissed The Steel Avenger as "a pretty pants robot" before their Extreme 1 battle, and how he confidently claimed that they were going to win at the start of the University Challenge, despite Philippa Forrester reminding them of their past failures.

In Series 6, Behemoth's weakness was listed as "Kane!"

Liz Pritchard[edit | edit source]

The Behemoth team in the Iron Maidens tournament

Anthony and Michael’s mother, Liz Pritchard joined the team for the Iron Maidens tournament in Extreme 2, where she was Team Captain, and weapons operator.

She had been attending Robot Wars events for years in the audience, supporting her sons.

"Now you [the audience] won’t know this, but this lady here is a veteran of Robot Wars, in fact you’ve been coming here as long as I have, haven’t you?"
Philippa Forrester introduces Liz Pritchard

She also competed with the team in Techno Games.

Claire Gray[edit | edit source]

Claire Gray and Liz Pritchard at the controls of Behemoth

Only a part of the team for the Iron Maidens tournament in Extreme 2, Claire Gray was Michael Pritchard’s girlfriend. She took over the role of driver and received praise from Philippa Forrester, who described her driving as "fantastic" after the team's Round 2 defeat to Chompalot.

Along with Liz Pritchard, Claire Gray was incorrectly listed as team members on the statistics board when Behemoth appeared in the University Challenge.

Kevin Cleasby[edit | edit source]

"He’s our mechanical support and helps us get back in the arena straight away!"
— Anthony Pritchard in Series 8

Kevin Cleasby in the team's intro from Series 8

Kevin in the team's VT in Series 9

With the reboot allowing teams to have a limit of four members instead of three, Kevin Cleasby joined the team permanently, and would appear in all three series of the reboot. Outside of Robot Wars, he worked as an automotive engineer, with his workplace being used as the venue for Behemoth's VT segments in the reboot. This profession helped in his role as the team’s mechanic. Kevin was also a very capable machinist and could create any machined parts required for Behemoth. He would occasionally drive the robot at live events with success when the rest of the team were unavailable, while also captaining his own team (Team RC-Kev) when competing with other heavyweight and featherweight machines of his own making.

Jonathan Henley[edit | edit source]

Jonathan Henley, pictured in Robot Wars Magazine

Although not seen on television, Jonathan Henley contributed to the building of the robots, helping to get materials and construct Behemoth.

He was interviewed as part of an interview with the team in Robot Wars Magazine Issue 5[9] and was acknowledged as part of the team on the website[10].

""At first we had trouble getting hold of material" says Jon. "Our school used to give us stuff and let us use their equipment". After a couple of appearances on Robot Wars however, "We started getting a name for ourselves and people started giving us things.""
— Jonathan Henley, interviewed in Robot Wars Magazine

Robots[edit | edit source]

Name Weight Class Series
Behemoth Heavyweight Series 2-10, Extreme 1-2
Anty B Antweight Extreme 1-2

Wins/Losses[edit | edit source]

  • Wins: 31
  • Losses: 21

NOTE: Behemoth's successful Gauntlet and Trial runs, whiteboard matches, and exhibition match with TR2 are not included. Behemoth's withdrawal from the Southern Annihilator is considered a loss.

Series Record[edit | edit source]

Team Make Robotics enter the arena in Series 8

Main Series Team Make Robotics Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Semi-Final, Round 2 with Behemoth
The Third Wars Heat Final with Behemoth
The Fourth Wars Heat Final with Behemoth
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 2 with Behemoth
The Sixth Wars Heat, Round 2 with Behemoth
The Seventh Wars Heat, Round 2 with Behemoth
Series 8 Heat Final with Behemoth
Series 9 Heat Round 2, Third Place with Behemoth
Series 10 Joint Third Place with Behemoth
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with Behemoth and Anty B
Series 2 Entered with Behemoth and Anty B

Outside Robot Wars[edit | edit source]

Team Make Robotics[edit | edit source]

In Techno Games, Make Robotics fielded two robots, dressed in fur reminiscent of Killerkat, and named Technomoth and Tigermoth. These were two versions of Behemoth used in the previous wars. Technomoth entered Techno Games 2002 without fur in the Assault Course, coming 4th overall, the same year that Technomoth worked with a robot called Ravioli in the Football. However, Ravioli hardly moved so the pair lost their first match 7-2. Technomoth return to the Assault Course, this time covered in fur, in 2003 but lost to Rash (whose team had built Ravioli the year before) in round 1. Technomoth then teamed up with Tigermoth for the Football and reached the semi-final before losing 3-0 to The 4 Wheeled Warriors (the same team who beat Technomoth and Ravioli the previous year).

Tigermoth (left) and Technomoth at Techno Games 2003

They also represented the University of Hertfordshire when they entered other Techno Games events, including the Relay race that they won in 2001, 2002 and 2003 as Team KAM. KAM came from the initials of the three team members that entered the Relay race: Kane, Anthony and Michael. The team consisted of three robots; A1, M2, and K3. In the first two series they competed in, they won the gold and finished in a world record time; 53.69 seconds in 2001, 38.97 seconds in 2002. However, in 2003, they came second, finishing in 44.77 seconds, having had 7.96 seconds added on for the robots going off the track. Had they not had time added, they would have equalled the winning team's time, plus a slow second handover of the baton added to their time[11].

For Techno Games, the team entered as two separate teams; Team KAM, consisting of Kane, Anthony and Michael, entered the Relay, whilst Anthony competed with mother and father Liz and Edward Pritchard in the Football and Assault Course, under the name Team ALE[12]. For the Football, they competed under the name Team Make Robotics, with Kane Aston and Edward Pritchard controlling Techno Moth, and Anthony and Liz Pritchard controlling Tiger Moth.

Kane Aston also joined Alan Gribble of the Cold Fusion Team in Techno Games 2003 when he entered Pussycat under name Pink Pants in the Assault Course, as Alan Gribble needed a better driver[13].

"It's called Pink Pants because it's pink, and I'm a pants driver! So we've got Kane doing the driving, hopefully he'll do a better job than I ever could!"
— Alan Gribble in Techno Games

However, Pink Pants lost in the first round to Incy Wincy.

The team entered the first series of Techno Games with a robot called Caught Red Handed, but this robot was not shown on the televised show. Little is known about it, or what event it entered[14].

Megabyte, Team Make Robotics' Mechanoids entry

Make Robotics also competed in the BBC Three game show Mechanoids with Megabyte, a robot with a humanoid-style upper body and arms, one of which featured a pneumatically-operated claw. Made predominantly out of Land Rover parts and dexion shelving, Megabyte consistently outscored its opponent 'Brian Damage' across the 'Furnace', 'Nest' and 'Alien Hunt' rounds to win its episode by a seven point margin.[15][16]

VX as it appeared at Antweight World Series 12

VX as it appeared at Antweight World Series 14

The team fought in the Antweight World Series for a few competitions with Anty B and their crusher VX. Anty B had mixed success while VX had only one win to its name, losing in the first round of Antweight Series 12 to Anteater and Entrant. In Antweight Series 14, the team's two antweights fought in Round 1, with Anty B winning. VX went into the loser's bracket, beating R.O.N.N.Y. before losing to Combat Ant. Both robots retired after AWS 14.

Anthony, Liz and Edward Pritchard, along with Kane Aston, also competed on the BBC show Mechannibals in 2005, where the teams had to create a machine to automatically exercise, feed and wash a dog. They competed against the Inglis family and won[17].

The "Moth family"

Both Anty B and Behemoth have achieved various successes at live events since Robot Wars entered its initial hiatus, with Make Robotics being named Winter Tour Champions in 2006 with Behemoth, after defeating favourites Iron-Awe. Behemoth also notably finished third in the UK Championships in 2005, second in 2013 and third again in 2017, undergoing several rebuilds and upgrades in the process. As of September 2018, Team Make Robotics still regularly appear on the live events circuit, presently fighting with the latest version of Behemoth and Kevin Cleasby's heavyweight robot Switch (see below).

Minimoth, the team's featherweight version of Behemoth

Alongside Behemoth and Switch, Team Make Robotics also compete on the live event circuit with a featherweight version of the former, called Minimoth. Boasting a similar weapon and design to its heavyweight counterpart, Minimoth was a regular competitor at the FRA International Championships; in 2015, it won an 18-robot 'Gladiator' battle held as part of that year's championship.[18]

Team Make Robotics are also the current owners of Mortis and its unfinished successor, Rigormortis, and reused the latter's weapons pod for their ABC BattleBots entry, Radioactive (see below).[19]

Radioactive's official BattleBots Season 1 image

Team Make Robotics with Radioactive

In 2015, Team Make Robotics competed in the revived series of BattleBots with a new heavyweight robot called Radioactive. Radioactive won its first battle, beating Sweet Revenge on a Judges' decision, despite moving sluggishly and finishing the battle immobile. In the Round of 16, Radioactive was given the lowest seeding possible, and was drawn up against the No. 1 seed, Tombstone. Radioactive was knocked out and eliminated from the tournament.

In October 2017, Team Make Robotics appeared on the Channel 4 programme Sunday Brunch, along with Angela Scanlon, who was giving an interview about Robot Wars. The brought Behemoth and Minimoth to appear on static display[20][21].

Anthony Pritchard married his partner in December 2018. Ant's wedding ring was made using titanium from Behemoth Evo III. Behemoth itself was part of a static display at the wedding, alongside Sgt. Bash.

Kane Aston[edit | edit source]

During the first hiatus of Robot Wars, Kane Aston became the head of the Fighting Robots Association (FRA), the governing body of the heavyweight live circuit, responsible for officiating the standard rules for combat while organising the UK championship for each respective year since 2004. Kane Aston still upholds this position as of 2020.

Devourer, with its jaw closed

Devourer with its clamp open

In 2018, Kane Aston built a new robot for the Chinese TV show Clash Bots, Devourer, a highly manoeuvrable robot armed with large, electrically powered clamping jaw. It fought the Chinese vertical spinner, Down Hook. Devourer was quick in its movement, and slammed into Down Hook, but sustained severe damage from the 7000rpm spinner, and briefly became immobile after shedding armour throughout the battle. It later regained mobility, but sustained more damage from Down Hook until the time expired. Devourer lost the Judges' decision, and was eliminated from the competition.

Kane Aston also featured as a judge for Bugglebots in 2018 alongside Annita van der Meer of Team Dutch Robot Girls and Ian Botwright of Team Conker.

Kevin Cleasby[edit | edit source]

Vulcan at King of Bots

Kevin Cleasby collaborated with Alan Young and Ed Wallace to enter the Chinese TV show King of Bots to enter with a heavyweight robot named Vulcan. The robot was black, and was armed with a large bladed axe. In the first round, it fought the Chinese flipper, Saber. However, after being flipped in the early stages, Vulcan struggled to land axe blows. Vulcan was turned over by the floor flipper, and later lost the use of a wheel. Towards the end of the second minute, Excalibur flipped Vulcan over, and after struggling to self-right, its axe became stuck in a flame jet, leaving it stuck. Thus, Vulcan lost in the first round. Regardless, it still fought alongside Tánshè in a Tag Team battle against Saber and Snake, winning the battle on a Judges' decision due to Tánshè immobilising Saber.

Switch at This is Fighting Robots

For the Chinese show This is Fighting Robots, produced by the team behind King of Bots, Kevin Cleasby built his own heavyweight robot, Switch, armed with an electrically powered hammer. It was selected for a celebrity's team, and fought in a four-way battle against EarthShaker, Stealth and the clusterbot Thunder and Lightning. However, Switch was repeatedly flipped by EarthShaker, also being pushed around by half of Thunder and Lightning, ultimately losing the battle which was won by Stealth. Switch also fought in a Tag Team battle, where it partnered with Lieutenant Bam to battle Blade and the reigning King of Bots champion Spectre, but Switch was immobilised in battle, losing the match.

Switch with Kevin Cleasby at King of Bots II

Switch in King of Bots II

Kevin Cleasby returned to King of Bots II with Switch, which now boasted an array of weapons including the existing hammer, a drum spinner, and a lifting mechanism which ultimately went unused. It used the hammer in its first battle against Cracked Sword, and won the battle to earn a place on a celebrity team. Using its drum spinner, Switch then immobilised Emerald and Yesaji in a two-on-two fight to earn a victory for the celebrity Zhu Zheng Ting. Despite this, Switch was almost eliminated from the competition on multiple occasions when Zhu Zheng Ting intended to cut it from his team, with teams such as Tánshè, Snake and Two BBQ offering themselves for elimination after their losses to spare Switch, but ultimately Switch was automatically eliminated from the tournament without any further involvement after Zhu Zheng Ting's team lost too many battles.

Microswitch in the King of Bots UK championship

In August 2018, Kevin Cleasby first built a featherweight counterpart to the machine named Microswitch, armed with a drum spinner. It competed at the King of Bots UK Featherweight Championship 2018. In first first battle, Microswitch lost a three-way melee against Calabash Bros. In its next battle, Microswitch placed second after surviving longer than Broadax, but suffered severe damage from the vertical spinner of Binky. In its final qualifier, Microswitch was driven into the pit by Hell's Angel.

Microswitch in February 2020

Side view of the new Microswitch

In February 2020, Kevin Cleasby created a brand-new version of Microswitch, designed in CAD by Adam Hamilton. It competed at the US featherweight event Motorama in the same month, defeating The Pile by knockout, before losing its next match to Crimson Snow after being overturned. Microswitch was then knocked out in the losers bracket.

Kevin Cleasby (right) with Jasper at BattleBots in 2019

Kevin Cleasby was also in attendance at BattleBots for part of its 2019 season, as a member of the Jasper team. For more information, see here.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Just like the other three teams in Series 9 to debut in Series 2 (Team Hurtz, Team Supernova and Team 13), Team Make Robotics finished third in their heat during Series 9.
  • Kane Aston's favourite Robot Wars battle is Behemoth's defeat of Diotoir during The First World Championship.[22]
  • In a Reddit AMA session, the team claimed the most memorable part of competing in Robot Wars was competing in The First World Championship.
"Being part of the first world championship. That was a good set of battles and Behemoth was performing well."
— Team Behemoth on Reddit[23]
  • The only other team to match Team Make Robotics' record of competing in nine main series is Team Hurtz - however, Team Hurtz did not compete in the first series of Extreme, and they were also disqualified from Series 7, making Team Make Robotics the most experienced team in the history of the show.
  • Anthony Pritchard was part of The Steering Committee.
  • Although Anthony Pritchard was the driver throughout the team's television appearances, at live events, each member has a chance.
"Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock"
— Team Behemoth, asked in 2017 about how they decide who drives in a particular battle[24]

Honours[edit | edit source]


Nominations

References[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

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